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“A Film Unfinished” and Jewish Degradation

by Lawrence Bush Just watched A Film Unfinished at the cinema in Woodstock (see Nick Jahr’s excellent commentary on the film). Only eighteen people in the theater, all gray-headed, on this Sunday afternoon. At the film’s end, a woman spoke in the dark: “I was there in the ghetto. If you want to talk to […]

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October 22: Nyuk nyuk nyuk

Curly Howard (Jerome Lester Horwitz), who absorbed more eye-pokes and head-slaps than any other comic in history as one of the Three Stooges, was born in Brooklyn on this date in 1903. Curly, a high school dropout, was an inventive, improvisational slapstick comedian who in 1934 joined his older brother Moe as a replacement for […]

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A Film Unfinished

by Nicholas Jahr Given a limited release to near limitless praise, Yael Hersonski’s A Film Unfinished is a documentary about a documentary. In May 1942, several hundred thousand Jews had been penned within the confines of the Warsaw Ghetto for a year and a half; the first mass deportation was only two months away. Perhaps […]

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August 9: Boop Boop Be Doop

Betty Boop made her debut on this date in 1930 in the animated film “Dizzy Dishes.” She was the creation of Max Fleischer (1883-1972), a Galitzianer immigrant whose pioneering animations brought Koko the Clown, Popeye, and Superman to the screen, among many other characters. He and his brother Dave patented the Rotoscope in 1915, a […]

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February 5: Modern Times

Charlie Chaplin was not Jewish — he was baptized and raised in the Anglican church — but Nazi propaganda in the 1930s said otherwise, identifying him as “Karl Tonstein,” a Jew and a communist. The rumors stuck, especially after Chaplin’s release of The Great Dictator in 1940, and he consistently refused to deny being Jewish, […]

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December 9: Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas (Issur Danielovitch) was born in Belarus on this day in 1916. He grew up as Izzy Demsky and never legally changed his name. As the starring actor and executive producer of Spartacus (1960, directed by Stanley Kubrick), Kirk Douglas helped break the Hollywood blacklist by hiring and crediting Dalton Trumbo for the screenplay. […]

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